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Testimony of Three Members of Behavioral Health Services, JTF GTMO

In a 2009 article published in the journal Psychological Services, Carrie H. Kennedy, Rosemary C. Malone, and Michael J. Franks, all members of Behavioral Health Services, Joint Medical Group, Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, made the following statements:

  • At the time of this writing in August, 2006, there were approximately 50 detainees actively involved with the Behavioral Health Services (BHS) of the roughly 450 detainees then held at GTMO. This constituted approximately 11% of the detainee population at the time. Of these approximate 50 individuals, 43%-45% were diagnosed with a personality disorder, 19%-21% were diagnosed with a psychotic disorder, 17%-19% were diagnosed with a mood disorder, 15%-17% were diagnosed with a disorder of a different kind (e.g. sleep disorder, malingering) [p. 1].

  • Approximately 3% of all the camp detainees were prescribed psychotropic medications, representing about 30% of the ~50 detainees actively followed by the BHS. The types of psychotropic medications prescribed at GTMO [included] antipsychotics, antidepressants, hypnotics, anxiolytics, and mood stabilizers […] [p. 2].

  • As of August, 2006, approximately another 55 individuals had been discharged from BHS over the years due to resolution of symptoms […] of those discharged from services, approximately 34%-36% were diagnosed with a mood disorder, 28%-30% were diagnosed with a mood disorder, 18%-20% were diagnosed with a personality disorder, and 3%-5% were diagnosed with a psychotic disorder [p. 2].

  • [I]n accordance with the Department of Defense Instruction 2310.08E, Medical Program Support for Detainee Operations (Department of Defense, 2006) […] hunger strikers who are medically compromised due to a hunger strike are enterally fed […] no hunger strikers at GTMO have been deemed by a mental health provider to be refusing food due to mental illness or due to being suicidal […] [p. 4].

  • At the time of this writing, there have been over 600 suicide gestures [or deliberate injuries to one's own body without intent to die], and over 40 suicide attempts [or deliberate acts focused on taking one’s life that does not result in death, due to the nonlethality of the method chosen or due to medical intervention] made by approximately 26-28 detainees, with one detainee making over 10 attempts. Three deaths in June 2006 [are] considered probable suicides […] A fourth was reported in May 2007 [pp. 4-5].

Source: Kennedy, Carrie H. et al. (2009) "Provision of Mental Health Services at the Detention Hospital in Guantanamo Bay". Psychological Services 6(1): 1-10.

 

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